Residual circulation and thermohaline distribution of the Ría de Vigo: A 3-D hydrodynamical model
Keywords:numerical models, ría de Vigo, upwelling-downwelling, thermohaline distributions, currents
A three-dimensional, non-linear, baroclinic model is described and tested for the first time to study the residual circulation and the thermohaline distribution of the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain) at short time scales and under different wind stress regimes. Two markedly different realistic scenarios were chosen: northerly upwelling-favourable winds and southerly downwelling-favourable winds. The numerical experiments carried out indicate that the hydrodynamic regime of the Ría de Vigo is mostly a consequence of wind events. As could be expected, moderately strong North winds reinforce the normal (positive) Ría circulation, while winds blowing from the South, when sufficiently strong, reverse the typical circulation pattern and reduce the characteristic outgoing velocities and the flushing time inside the Ría. The temperature and salinity fields generated by the model in both situations were compared with observations and found to be in qualitatively good agreement, supporting the 3D velocity field distribution.
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